While the Millennials will make up 40% of the workforce by the year 2020, Generation Z is right behind them.
Who are They?
Generation Z or iGen (with a lowercase i–because they are cloud natives not digital natives like the Millennials) were born after 1996, according to the Center for Generational Kinetics. Gen Z or iGen is the first generation to be raised in the smartphone era; they can create a document, edit it, post a picture to Instagram and talk on the phone all at the same time. Further, they have no concept of what life was like before social media. Because they are so social media minded, they have become very aware of how to create their own personal brand. They are very conscious about the image they wish to convey to the world, primarily through social media.
So, what does that mean for your business? Gen Z are hardworking, conscientious and are concerned about the future, so they will make great employees. While Millennials cared most about having the feeling that they personally mattered and were making a difference in an organization, Gen Z is looking for safety and stability. They want independence, they are fiercely competitive and are looking for opportunities to advance within a company. Like the Millennials, they still want consistent and regular feedback on the way they are performing in their positions.
Now that you have a better idea about the characteristics and work styles of Generation Z, let’s explore how that will impact office design. Here are just a few design features that will appeal to the next generation workforce.
COLLEGE LIKE SPACES
In a recent whitepaper by KI, it was discovered that almost 90% of recent college graduates experience difficulty in making the transition from collegiate atmospheres to their new physical work environment. Borrowing design and workspace planning ideas from institutions of higher education will not only create an easier transition for the new workforce, but can bring about positive changes to the existing environment, including greater productivity and collaboration for the new and existing workforce.
Gen Z’s are known to be tech-savvy. But just because they are, they might not be able to easily navigate your company’s software if it is outdated. Because they are a generation that are used to using Instagram and Snapchat, embracing new technology and having updated apps and software will not only help them perform better, but increase efficiency and productivity as well.
While open office design has countless benefits including maximizing space per square foot, encouraging collaboration and flexibility, it can be too noisy. By including quiet zones and private areas in your workspace design where employees can focus and complete independent work, there is a space for everyone to work where they feel most comfortable.